Mask mandate is back at Kent State’s Ashtabula campus

This story has been updated to reflect Ashtabula County’s updated community level for COVID-19.

Kennedy Gotham, Reporter

Kent State’s Ashtabula campus announced May 23 it will be requiring masks to be worn indoors on its campus.

The university also said masks are not required when working alone in a confined space such as an office.

The decision comes after Ashtabula County has moved to the “high” community level for COVID-19, per the CDC.

The university sent an email with the announcement Monday. It is “following the CDC’s recommendations for counties at ‘high’, ‘medium’ or ‘low’ community levels when making determinations for safety precautions on our campuses,” the email said.

In the same email, Kent State included a list of recommendations from the CDC for counties that have “high” community levels, including: “Wear a mask indoors in public. Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines. Get tested if you show any virus symptoms. Those at high risk for severe illnesses may want to take additional safety precautions.”

The email also said Portage, Trumbull, Geauga and Cuyahoga counties have increased from “low” to “medium.” The CDC website has a “COVID-19 County Check” to see what level a particular county is at.

“We will continue to monitor COVID-19 case levels in all the counties where we have campuses or locations and will adjust our requirements and recommendations as needed to address community levels of the virus,” the email said. “Kent State will always make the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff our top priority as we strive to provide a healthy and safe environment to live, learn and work.”

As of June 3, “face coverings are no longer required indoors at the Ashtabula Campus,” according to an email from the university. This change is due to Ashtabula County’s community level designation for COVID-19 being lowered from “high” to “medium.”

Kennedy Gotham is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].